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03 telephone numbers, explained

03 numbers have been around for 10 years now, but there remains a lot of confusion about what they’re for and how much a call to an 03 number will cost.

Most people know that 01 and 02 numbers are local telephone numbers, with local rate charges. So what about 03 numbers?

UK 03 numbers are non-geographical which means they’re not tied to a particular location. In that regard they are the same as 0844 or 0845 numbers, but thankfully that’s where the similarity ends.

03 numbers are much cheaper to call, with rates the same as a local landline call (even from a mobile). In fact all major network operators are legally required to include calls to 03 numbers in their call bundles, and in the case of CircleLoop, our Unlimited call plan.

03 numbers were introduced by Ofcom in 2007, as an alternative to those unpopular, expensive premium 0844, 0845 and 0870 numbers. So in a nutshell 03 numbers are a great way to give your business a professional national presence, without your customers paying over the odds to call you.

Since June 2016 it has been illegal for companies to use premium rate 084 and 087 numbers for customer service lines and this is part of Ofcom’s drive to make call costs fairer and more transparent for consumers. Many businesses adopt premium 08 numbers as a means to generate additional revenue, but it is no longer acceptable to advertise this type of phone number for a customer service or complaints line. At CircleLoop, we believe that this move towards 03 numbers can only be a good thing, which is why we offer 03 numbers as part of our extensive number range.

So, if you want to give your business a national presence, but without expensive national rate calls, then try an 03 number for yourself (or an 01/ 02 number), start your free CircleLoop trial today.